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Traveling the world, one weekend at a time.

Posted by james on Aug. 27, 2006

So yet again, business sprung a last minute trip on me. I didn't have enough travel this month (*cough* wedding *cough*), so they sent me to Virginia for a week. Now I'm in Rhode Island for a week. Then it's California, and finally back home. I never thought I'd turn into one of those depressing single lonely business travelers, but that's me now. I have a big expensive roller luggage (the one I saw on TV), I even have a dedicated toiletries bag so I don't forget my toothbrush every single time. I know all the procedures for the security checkout line (no more liquids, no more gels, stop poking the security guard with sharp objects for fun). I even got upgraded to the "Gold" mileage club on my airline. I don't think I get any real perks. It's more like a condolence prize of "Man, stinks to be you. Too bad you don't have a real life, but hey, you're gold now!" Awesome.

Traveling used to be a fun idea, when it was backpacking across Europe with 2 high school friends (in 2002, didn't happen), or showing up in some street in Italy in my dreams (which, for some inexplicable reason, has an Italian chain restaurant. Go figure). I even got to see Germany for a week, which consisted of 4 visits to the in-hotel restaurant/lonely-businessman-bar, 1 visit to an "Italian" restaurant that doubled as someone's basement, and 1/2 of a visit to an ancient German castle. Cool, I think. I wasn't there long enough to know. But hey, they have good strudel.

I can't wait to get back home, except that usually when that happens it's because I'm about to get pulled out to something else. I've averaged about 1 trip a month, which is incredibly unexpected, very tiring, great for my mileage acount (again, Gold people!), and poor for my life in Hawaii. I moved there to see the culture and what life was like. It's very tiring, very discontinuous, unsettling. And to add insult to injury they've closed down the only race track on the island so my other hobbies will have to wait.

On the other hand, I'm not yet ready to leave. I've got a few more things to do there. Can you believe I've still never surfed in my life? It's incredible. That's almost as lame as spending 8 years of your life in a foreign country and still not being able to speak simple sentences (*cough* Japan *cough*), or having about 20 different crazy inventions and not making a single one. I take that back, there was always the Flowbie made from an electric weed whacker, a soda bottle, and razor blades. That was fun till it exploded. Then it was also fun.

I need to make a big TV. I need to learn how to tune my car. I want to get to know some people a little better here and reach out to some fringers. I really dont want to be a corporate junkie for the rest of my life. And I want to get closer to God. That was the original goal, anyway.

Lauren's asleep right now, probably because there's a movie on and that's like a sleeping pill for her. I'm awake now, probably because I have a chemical imbalance that means I'll sleep so little for years until the chemicals take over and I try to kill all my friends and write crazy nonsense all over my walls with mustard mixed with human poop. Don't laugh, it could be true.

Guess what day it is?

Posted by james on Aug. 13, 2006

The name of today's holiday has been renamed to Victory Day. However, that's such an ambiguous name. What kind of victory? Our victory, or someone else's? Do we get to picnic and tailgate on this holiday? Nothing is answered.

But those in the Northeast remember it's true meaning, and those in Rhode Island deeper still. It's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_over_Japan_Day"><b>Victory over Japan day!</b></a>. Most other states have forgotten, but in Rhode Island you can still take all of this state holiday off from work to contemplate a world better off with us (or really, U.S.) as the true winners.

In honor of today's special meaning, I'm going to wear a little pin labeled "We won, you know" and visit many Asian establishments. That's going to mean going to karaoke bars, teriyaki and curry restaurants at Ala Moana mall, and the parking lot in front of Ward Starbucks.

I also have my "Who's laughing now?" and "Politically correct my butt, I want a day off!" buttons for the occasion. We'll see if they're necessary.

Finding new music, the computer way

Posted by james on May 23, 2006

I've been using the <a href="http://www.last.fm/">last.fm</a> way. It's awesome. If you go to the site, you can mark the music that you like, and it'll show you other songs/artists that are similar, much like netflix. It'll give you recommendations. And you can also use the player to listen to music that is (supposedly) tailored to your preferences. Awesome idea.

I love the idea of using statistics to help you find things. Just think; there's probably 100 albums released this year alone that you'd like, except you'll only find 3 of them through random circumstance. Or, if you watch MTV and listen to radio, you'll probaly find none of them. But if you use a statistical method to compare your preferences to other people's, then it should find the ones you'll like regardless of how popular or obscure your likes are. Awesome.

Just wait till Ben and I finish the everything everything project. Oh man, good stuff.

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